This week I am lucky enough to be at the Hay Festival – a famous literary festival held at Hay-in-Wye just over the border in Powys, Wales. It has been a pretty rainy affair (I think they may have to re-use the sunny photos from last year in their publicity!) but the weather hasn’t dampened our spirits.
We’re here for the full 10 days, and summarising all the events I’ve already attended would take just as long again! So, here are a few gems from some of the speakers …
I am not defined by my scars but my ability to heal
Lemn Sissay, Poet, on why he still has hope about the issue of climate change.
It’s the difference between walking round inside architecture and looking at an architectural plan
Nick Coleman, music journalist, explaining the difference between hearing with two ears and hearing with only one, after he suddenly and permanently lost his hearing in one ear. He is absolutely spot on, and I shall shamelessly steal this phrase to explain to others what I experience.
I don’t think there has ever been a golden age of poetry
Simon Armitage, Poet, refuting the suggestion that poetry has already reached its zenith and is in decline. He’s right. We look back on the time of Heaney and Hughes with a mixture of fondness and awe (or at least I do), but who’s to say the next generation won’t feel the same about today’s poets.
And finally, in honour of Simon Armitage’s daily Hayku (geddit?) as poet in residence at the festival, here is my own
The Hay Festival
Pours with wisdom and raindrops
Definitely not dry